Bailey stands in line at the local Starbucks, excited to get her daily dose of much needed caffeine when her phone starts to ring.
She looks down and her breath catches in her throat.
Him, she thinks.
What could he possibly want?
It’s been months and they haven’t spoken.
She freezes in line not knowing what to do. Her palms instantly clamming up.
“Next,” the barista calls greeting Bailey with a warm smile.
Bailey stares and looking behind her she smiles at an older woman standing there.
“You can go ahead, I really need to take this,” she says stepping aside.
“Oh thank you sweetheart,” the silver haired woman with a bright pink smile says, stepping up to the counter to place her order.
Bailey walks to step outside the coffee house doors and into the corridor. She inhales sharply, her heart beating a mile a minute.
She exhales even more strongly before answering the call.
“Hello?” she says trying to remain calm and collected, because remaining “cool”- at this point-wasn’t an option.
He- was her kryptonite. And she didn’t necessarily mind.
“Hey. (Jimmy’s eyes light up as he paces his apartment floor) Wow. You answered. I really wasn’t expecting you to,” he says his voice light.
Just the sound of Jimmy’s voice makes Bailey’s heart smile.
“Oh well you know I could- just hang up-” she says in a playful tone.
“No, I just meant I figured you’d be in class, or at some fancy New York City gala, or brunch, brunch is big up there, right?”
“We have been known for our brunch scene, yes,” she says with a slight laugh.
“Oh, I miss that laugh,” he says picking up a frame on his desk, he smiles at the picture of he and Bailey from their high school graduation.
Bailey’s stomach flips and fills with butterflies. Jimmy’s heart rate increases.
“I miss you. (Jimmy closes his eyes, taking it in for a beat) How are you? How’s everyone back home?”
“I’m good, everyone’s good. (He continues pacing) Home is home. Same ole small town filled with weird celebrations of the strangest things.”
“Ah carnival season.”
“It’s coming in like a freight train.”
“Oh I remember it well. So what’s the theme this year?”
“Love. Pink and Red basically threw up all over town. And they’ve got this cupid’s jingle playing every second of every day. Donny Fonny actually goes around dressed in a diaper with a Cupid’s bow and arrow shooting people and ordering them to “Love each other.”
“Oh my god, Mr. Old Donny Fonny in a diaper, I would pay big money to see that,” she says leaning against the wall of the corridor, just enjoying talking to him.
“And here I am complaining and I get to see it for free.”
“Well I mean it’s basically Valentine’s Day in June. You must be overjoyed,” she giggles. “I know- it’s your favorite holiday,” she says sarcastically.
“Hey, my recent hatred has to do with the commerciality of it. I don’t think guys need a specific day to make them realize what they have should be celebrated. I could look at you every day and feel that. Hallmark doesn’t need to remind me. I know you’re amazing.”
“Jimmy.” She says her heart falling in her chest.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to call and hash up the past. I just…this whole love theme thing, it just made me think of you…more than I already do, and I wanted to hear your voice. Tell you that I’ve been thinking about you, and that I miss you. But that I’m so proud of you for making it out of Everdale and going for it. Chasing after your dream. I’ve always just wanted the best for you, even if it took you away from me.”
“You know…we could always revisit the fact that I did ask you to come with me? But you were the one who thought ending things worked best. I never understood that. It broke my heart. It still does.”
“It broke mine just as much you have to know that. But come on, did you really want to ruin your college experience by bringing along an anchor.”
“You were never an anchor Jimmy, come on, you know that.”
Jimmy flops onto his couch as he sighs.
“What?” Bailey asks as she steps outside the Starbucks doors and makes a B-line to the nearest path into the park.
“Talk to me.”
Bailey sits on a park bench as she watches couples interact in public displays of affection all around her.
“I can’t. Not over the phone. Not about this. I wish I could see you. Any plans to visit home anytime soon?”
“Well I actually have my last final in just a bit…so then my summer is wide open.”
“Interesting,” he says his smile bright as he kicks his feet up onto his coffee table and puts his free hand on the back of his head, lounging out.
“I guess we can call it perfect timing.”
“I guess so.”
“Do you think there’s any chance that you’ll look me up when you get home, city girl?”
“Hmm, I don’t know about any city girls looking you up, but I can promise you you’ll be this country girl’s first stop.”
“Country girl, huh?”
“Hey I may be in the Big Apple, but I will always love Everdale more than any place I’ll ever go, its home. Besides I packed my cow girl boots, no one’s taking the country out of me.”
“Glad to hear it. Because this old town misses you and your cowgirl boots.”
“Really? Do they now?”
“Yea I mean I know one guy in particular who kind of had a thing for a blonde in leather brown boots.”
“They were always your favorite.”
“They still are. So why don’t you hop on plane and bring them home. And maybe you and I can pick up where we left off?”
“Maybe. Like I said my summer is wide open.”
“And a few old ones.”
“I can’t wait to see you.”
“I can’t wait to see you.”
Bailey hangs up as her lips curl into the biggest smile, the fluttering in her stomach settles into a warm feeling, a sense of hope and home.
Jimmy hangs up the phone as a smile spreads across his face, he walks over to his computer and sits down. On his screen a list of apartment listings in New York is shown.
Bailey gets up as she sets off to walking toward her campus and her last final, the key to the start of her most exciting Summer yet.
Jimmy opens one of his desks drawers and reaching into it he pulls out a small black box.
He opens it, displaying a sparkling diamond ring. His eyes shift from his next adventure to the same picture of he and Bailey on his desk. He smiles at her smiling face.
“I’m never letting you go again,” he says to himself as his heart flutters in anticipation.